Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Balance of the Conflict

Every now and then I'll get more than one call for a bris on the same day. When all people are adament that the bris take place at the exact same time, I obviously can't accomodate everyone - unless I lie and say that "I'll be there" knowing full well I won't be, and that people will have to wait for me.

[I've lost a number of brisses on account of being up front and honest on account of my schedule. I know of a number of mohels who prefer to make people wait, without being up front, so they can get as many jobs as possible.]

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Importance of Trust

I came to Israel to do my nephew's bris. My sister is a veteran bris-mom (her 5th boy), and some of her friends commented how calm she was during the bris. She is a pro, though, so it is not surprising. And, she has an advantage over many moms due to her relationship with her son's mohel.

And this is what made me think about what makes parents calm during the bris. Sometimes it is totally a personality thing. If you live your life chilled out, you will be chilled out during your son's bris. If just about anything makes you nervous, your bris experience will be nerve-wracking.

Unless.

Unless you trust your mohel completely.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Part No One Talks About (a.k.a. Tzitzin Ha'M'Akvin)

[This does not happen a lot, but it may happen. You need not expect it to happen, but it is always good to be prepared in your mind for a "worst case scenario."]

You've done your research. You hired the mohel everyone raves about. Or at least he has a very good reputation.

And then, at your son's bris, you're not very impressed.

It's not that he's not a nice mohel. And it's not that he isn't clean and neat. It's just that it takes a really long time, and it seems like your baby is losing a lot of blood (he isn't - it always looks worse, even when the procedure and prognosis is 'normal' and 'what is to be expected'). Moreover, what did he just say about "fixing" things?

The particular circumstances might differ from bris to bris (which doesn't matter to you the parent - because all you care about is "this single bris"), but the fact remains that while most brisses go extremely smoothly without any mishaps or missteps, there are some that bring with it their set of challenges.

To bring two simple examples that can not necessarily be anticipated before the foreskin is removed:
1. The baby may have scrotal webbing which extends its way into the shaft. This webbing (a lower skin tissue) would need to be removed to a. loosen up the shaft and b. help things look nicer
2. The baby may take time to clot. While in an ideal world the baby will stop bleeding immediately after the bris, the fact is that some babies are "bleeders" and present more of a challenge in achieving the coveted clottage.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Mistakes Many Parents Make Before Their Son's Bris

I have met parents who had less than an A-1 experience with a mohel, who returned to have a similar experience a second time with their second son. Their reason? (usually one of three)
a. We heard you're not supposed to change mohels;
b. We only know one mohel;
c. We didn't want to hurt his feelings.
[I've also met quite a few parents who have told me, "You were our third mohel, and the only one we would call again, if we have another son."]

Is this about you and your baby? Or about the mohel? [Hint: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MOHEL]

I want to make clear: If you had a positive experience with a mohel, you should absolutely return to him when you are blessed with another son. But if you didn't have such an experience, why would you want to?

So here it is: The Top Ten List : Mistakes Parents Make When Hiring a Mohel